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Aaron Altherr spent a surprising amount of time on the Mets bench in 2019

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Lacking viable outfield Altherr-natives, the team employed the waiver claim as a backup for a good portion of the season.

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Altherr announced his arrival as a Met with a bang before going out with a long, extended whimper. Altherr was claimed off of waivers from the Giants by a Mets team in desperate need of outfield depth on May 23. Altherr had spent two weeks in San Francisco, where he had one at bat with the Giants, who had claimed him off waivers just two weeks earlier from the Phillies. In those two stops, Altherr combined to hit a robust .033 (1-30).

So of course, in his first plate appearance as a Met on May 24, Altherr came up to pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth and launched a clutch pinch hit home run deep over the Great Wall of Flushing. The homer would give the Mets a 7-6 lead in a back-and-forth affair they would eventually lose to the Detroit Tigers 9-8.

To say this would be the high point of Altherr’s surprisingly long stint with the Mets would be an understatement. Altherr would go 3-29 over his next 25 games in a Mets uniform. Altherr was primarily employed as late game defensive replacement or a pinch hitter—going 0-6 as a pinch hitter after that aforementioned home run, and seemingly always coming up in big spots where you would think to yourself, “this is our best option to hit right now?” The last of these was a ground out with runners on second and third in the 11th inning of a frustrating extra-innings loss to the Braves at home on August 23. Altherr was designated for assignment the following day.

Altherr ended the 2019 season with an ugly .082/.136/.164 slash line across his three teams (-22 wRC+) in 64 plate appearances, good for a -0.9 bWAR for the season. Aside from his exciting Citi Field debut, the highlight of Altherr’s season was likely the one inning of mop-up relief he threw while still with the Phillies in a 15-1 defeat to the Nationals, where Altherr did surrender a run, but struck out a pair in his single inning of work.

Altherr will be a free agent this offseason, and is unlikely to factor into the Mets’ offseason plans in any way, shape or form.